The Cornell Hate Crime Case
Back in November of 2017, a Cornell undergraduate was charged with a hate crime, accusing the sophomore of assaulting a black student because of his race. The family smartly hired Attorney Ronald Fischetti, one of the best criminal defense lawyers and attorneys in New York. Once Ron and his partner Phyllis Malgieri got involved in the case, the tables turned quickly and the evidence they uncovered told a different story. The DA realized that the victim was not only not targeted, but that there was no evidence of racial motive on the part of Fischetti’s client. All criminal charges were dropped this month.
Another Major Victory for the Fischetti Law Firm
The result is no surprise to any of the best Manhattan criminal defense attorneys and lawyers, especially when Fischetti’s law firm is involved. He and his staff of criminal defense attorneys offer not just years of trial experience, not guilty verdicts, and winning cases, but also offer defense strategies that focus on every detail, all the while providing the highest level of compassion and attention to their cases, big or small.
What Does this Case Mean for Hate Crime Arrests in Connecticut?
I’ve written about Connecticut hate crime arrests in the past, recently focusing on Connecticut’s new hate crime law, CGS 53a-181k, which is a Class D felony. To get arrested in Connecticut for a hate crime—formally called Intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the second degree—you must be accused of assaulting someone, damaging property, or threatening someone, all with the intent to intimidate or harass that person because of their race, religion, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation.
Getting Your Connecticut Hate Crime Arrest Dismissed with the First Amendment
What exactly makes a case a hate crime in Connecticut? Usually it’s offensive, obscene language consisting of racial slurs or religious insults. A key issue is intent—so if someone is intoxicated by alcohol or drugs and is using racial slurs, then the element of intent can be challenged by any top Connecticut criminal defense attorney. Sometimes people use hate speech when they are drunk, intoxicated, or high.
The context of the alleged speech must also be examined closely. Specifically, if it’s used on social media or in text or on Twitter. The First Amendment—both under our federal and state constitutions–provides plenty of protections for speech, even the most vile and hateful speech.
You can follow this link to learn more about fighting Connecticut hate crime charges.
Can I Go to Jail for a Connecticut Hate Crime Arrest?
Absolutely. Hate crime charges under CGS 53a-181 or CGS 46a-58 can be classified as a Class A misdemeanor, Class D felony, or Class C felony depending on the nature of the crime, or the magnitude of the property damage or personal injury.
Contact a Connecticut or New York Hate Crime Criminal Attorney Today
If you are charged with a Connecticut hate crime, then call the Connecticut First Amendment criminal lawyers and attorneys at Mark Sherman Law today. We will not judge our clients’ opinions—we protect them. You can read what our prior clients have to say about their experiences with our firm. Then give us a call before you set foot in court. We are available 24/7 to take your call at (203) 358-4700.